The Other Critics

Patti U. Finds Tuba, a Year Late; Tablehopper Tries the Raw Chicken at Ippuku; Sweet Reviews Sazon

“One of the delights of Turkish cooking is that so many deeply satisfying dishes are based on legumes and vegetables,” says Patricia Unterman, and she calls the hummus at Tuba “perfect-pitch” and says she likes to eat their walnut spread called ezme with a fork. Tuba opened a full year ago now, but it’s still new to Patti, and she calls their icli kofte “some of the nicest I’ve seen,” and says she’s “wild” for “beyti adana, a long, flat, ground beef and lamb kebab seasoned with Turkish red pepper and salt, lubricious with fat, and wrapped in thin, soft lavash bread to form a cylinder, then sliced crosswise into fat pinwheels.” Also of note, the name refers not to the brass instrument, but is “a girl’s name that means heavenly beauty and purity.” [Examiner]

Lady Tablehopper pays a visit to Ippuku in Berkeley to try some skewers and that infamous chicken tartare. Of the latter, she writes, “It was creamy, and spicy, and we polished it off. And I didn’t get sick or die. The End.” She recommends doing a whole “chicken tour” in fact, ordering the thigh oysters on a skewer if they haven’t run out, and notes that the service can be a bit laid back (read: slow). But all in all she’s in love like everyone else, and says, “Honestly, I was ready to just return with my toothbrush and move in.” [Tablehopper, Kauffman’s earlier take]

Amanda Gold does a Bar Bite minute at Starbelly, enjoys a few non-hard-alcohol-based drinks, calls the pizzas “solid,” and says not to miss the fritto misto. [Chron]

And finally, Carey Sweet offers her take on Sazon, a new Peruvian place in Santa Rosa. She says it’s “delicious, vibrantly seasoned food that matched the sort of dishes I’ve eaten on my visits to South America.” She compliments the classic ceviche, and seems most excited about a lunch sandwich, the pan con chicharron, “a French roll sandwich plump with juicy fried pork, al dente sweet potato and salsa criolla next to a mound of hand-cut french fries.” The star rating is missing from the SFGate version at present, but we’re going to wager it’s two stars, because if it were any better than two stars Bauer would have claimed it for his own. [Chron]

Patti U. Finds Tuba, a Year Late; Tablehopper Tries the Raw Chicken at Ippuku;